The Southeastern construction market kept plenty busy in 2023, though contractors across the region continue to face challenges from skilled labor shortages, rising interest rates and lingering supply chain issues.

The most active sectors included technical projects that required heavy MEP work and intensive equipment and vendor coordination, says Anthony Johnson, president with Clayco’s industrial business unit.

“The manufacturing sector saw significant activity with projects related to EVs, automotive and semiconductors,” he says.

Three of the top five projects on this year’s Top Starts list include Wolfspeed’s John Palmour Manufacturing Center for Silicon Carbide and the Hyundai/SK Battery Plant, both tied at the top at $2.5 billion. Coming in third at $2 billion, is the Vinfast EV Plant in North Carolina, for which Clayco is general contractor.

Infrastructure projects include a $606-million interstate project by the Georgia Dept. of Transportation and a $595-million Florida Dept. of Transportation project. People moving to the region are driving residential and mixed-use projects as well, making up roughly one-third of projects on the list.


About the Ranking

The annual ENR Southeast Top Starts ranking catalogs the highest-value projects to break ground in the previous year, giving an overview of the Southeast’s most prominent industry sectors. Data was pulled from the Dodge Construction Network and from information provided by firms.